Guide To Philadelphia DNC Media Won’t Show You

A man walks through a blighted neighborhood, July 11, 2013, in Philadelphia. (Credit: AP/Matt Rourke)

By Bob Hennelly for Salon – Just like their Republican counterparts in Cleveland, the delegates to the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia will be sequestered far away from the daily misery and despair that’s the experience of their host city’s extreme poor. This growing cohort of folks are overwhelmingly people of color and include tens of thousands of children who find themselves living in neighborhoods in the “City of Brotherly Love” pock marked with 40,000 vacant lots and zombie homes.

Marching On The DNC: Interview With Cheri Honkala

Cheri Honkola attempts citizens arrest of governor of Pennsylvania over budget cuts to Philadelphia schools. Photo Credit: Harvey Finkle.

By Ann Garrison for Counterpunch. It was a struggle but we were adamant and told the ACLU over and over again for 48 hours that we would not change our permit request, and we have won the right to march on the south side of city hall at 3:00 o’clock, going all the way up Broad Street to the front door of the Democratic National Convention. And so we’re hoping that anybody that was afraid before will turn out in droves and join us. Our march has turned into a real symbol of the fight for political independence from the two corporate controlled parties. And I think we’re gonna look back and see this as an important historical marker. It’s really important that people understand that our march begins at 3:00 on the south side of city hall, because the Democratic Party is going to stop at absolutely nothing to make sure that the voices of poor and other front line communities are not heard in the Democratic National Convention.

Poverty Has Always Accompanied Capitalism

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By Mark Karlin for Truthout. What economic theory Americans learn comes mostly – directly or indirectly – from college and university teachers: their classes, the textbooks they write, the journalists and politicians shaped by them, etc. The substance of the mainstream economics delivered in these ways is this: economics is a basic science that explains how the economy works. By “the economy” is meant modern capitalism as if (1) nothing else, no other system, was of interest today (other than for historians) and (2) no alternative ways of theorizing, thinking about economies, exist or are worth considering. Indeed, most mainstream textbooks have the word “economics” in their title as if no differentiating adjective (such as neoclassical or Marxist etc.) needs to be added to let readers know which among alternative theories was being used by the author.

From Livelihoods To Deadlihoods

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By Ashish Kothari for Local Futures for Economics of Happiness – In India, economic development and modernity have transformed livelihoods into deadlihoods. They are wiping out millennia-old livelihoods that were ways of life with no sharp division between work and leisure, and replacing them with dreary assembly line jobs where we wait desperately for weekends and holidays. Economic progress, we are told, is about moving from primary sector jobs to manufacturing and services. And so the livelihoods that keep all of us alive – farming, forestry, pastoralism, fisheries, and related crafts – are considered backward.

Bolivia Flips Bird To World's Richest Man

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By Sputnik News. Last week, Bill Gates, listed as the world’s richest person, with a net worth in excess of some $79.4 billion, turned heads when he proposed that those living on less than $2 per day should invest in chickens, fancying that he could heroically survive such an austere life of extreme poverty. In a piece titled, “Why I Would Raise Chickens,” the tech magnate, who earns more per year in interest alone than the poorest 45 countries in the world, lectured humanity’s most economically-depressed on surviving hardship. Wealthy American liberals heaped praise on the mega-billionaire for his humanitarian mission, without asking how people living in extreme poverty, in societies with endemic corruption and a constant threat of violence, would feed their flock.

Work Requirements Don’t Cut Poverty

Workers’ strike in Milwaukee in January of 2014. (Photo: Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association/flickr/cc)

By LaDonna Pavetti for CBPP – In their poverty plan, House Speaker Paul Ryan and his Republican colleagues placed great stock in the ability of work requirements to reduce poverty. But, as we’ve explained, an array of rigorous evaluations show that work requirements don’t do that. Instead, the research shows: Employment increases among cash assistance recipients subject to work requirements were modest and faded over time. Employment among recipients subject to work requirements rose significantly in the first two years of programs that mandated participation in work-related activities…

Lock Up The Men, Evict The Women And Children

Skid Row Activist

By Chris Hedges for Truth Dig – Matthew Desmond’s book, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” like Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickel and Dimed,” is a heartbreaking snapshot of the rapacious exploitation and misery we inflict on the most vulnerable, especially children. It is a picture of a world where industries have been created to fleece the poor, and destroy neighborhoods and ultimately lives. It portrays a judicial system that has broken down, a dysfunctional social service system and the license in neoliberal America to carry out unchecked greed, no matter what the cost.

Case Dismissed For State Of The Union Activists: Resistance Continues

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By Joy First for National Coalition for Nonviolent Resistance. As we prepared for trial, we knew that Judge Gardner has jailed activists found guilty in the past, and so we knew we must be prepared for jail time. We also knew that the government prosecutor had not responded to our latest motions, and so we wondered if that was a sign that they were not ready to proceed with atrial. With this uncertainty in mind,for the first time ever I got a one-way ticket to DC, and it was with great sadness that I said goodbye to my family. And what was my offense that brought me there? On the day of Obama’s last State of the Union address, January 12, 2016, I joined 12 others as we exercised our First Amendment rights attempting to deliver a petition to President Obama in an action organized by the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance. We suspected that Obama would not tell us what was really going on, and so our petition outlined what we believed to be the real state of the union along with remedies to create a world we all would want to live in. The letter outlined our concerns regarding war, poverty, racism, and the climate crisis. As about 40 concerned citizen activists walked toward the US Capitol on January 12, we saw the Capitol Police were already there and waiting for us.

Wealth Belongs To All Of Us – Not Just To The Rich

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By Dariel Garner for Popular Resistance. Imagine eating at a sumptuous private banquet every night that the whole society has paid for, while most people are too stressed from overwork and worry to do more than grab some fast food on the way home and others can only hope to find some moldy food in a dumpster. There is no fairness in that. No equality. No justice. Indeed, it is shameful. Recognizing that the wealth was created by the society, not by me, meant that I held riches that were not mine but belonged to the people and to the Earth. My first reaction was guilt, but all that did was make the thousand dollar bottles of wine go down faster. My second reaction was sorrow and eventually that made me change my life. I couldn’t go on as I had. I turned my back on wealth. I lost it, I spent it like water and finally I gave it all away. I have never been happier.

We Are So Poor Because They Are So Rich

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By Dariel Garner for Popular Resistance, For decades, the rich have made all the laws and regulations, chosen the judges and the regulators, and written the 76,000 page IRS Tax Code. Occasionally, we agree with the rich, but even when we agree with them, it is because their radio, television, books, movies and newspapers have shaped our thinking to their liking. As bleak as the situation is, there is great reason to have courage that change can happen. The ruling elite are learning that they must reform and the people are realizing their power. There are many ways that we can organize and refuse to cooperate with a system that is producing dizzying inequalities.’ The people are learning that deep systemic change is not made by voting for a single candidate or by waving flags in the streets, but by educating and building mass support, by creating new alternatives to the existing structures and by taking strategic coercive action such as boycotts, strikes, blockades, and literally hundreds of other kinds of nonviolent actions that withdraw the support of the people from the hurtful and unfair system.

Transforming The Global Economy Before It’s Too Late

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By Martin Kirk and Alnoor Ladha for Truthout – Saying “everything is connected” is pretty popular these days. “Systems thinking” is the discipline du jour. Everyone, it seems, is becoming aware that the challenges we face do not stand alone. Climate change, for example, is not just about carbon emissions, but also about economics, race relations, patriarchy and power. There is no line of disconnect, except where we draw it with our minds. Simply saying that everything is connected doesn’t get you very far, though. The real challenge is to understand how.

Canada To Try Giving People Unconditional Free Money

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By Chris Weller for Tech Insider. Finland and The Netherlands have already shown their interest in giving people a regular monthly allowance regardless of working status, and now Ontario, Canada, is onboard. Ontario’s government announced in February that a pilot program will be coming to the Canadian province sometime later this year. The premise: Send people monthly checks to cover living expenses such as food, transportation, clothing, and utilities — no questions asked. It’s a radical idea, and one that has been around since the 1960s. It’s called “basic income.” In the decades since it was first proposed, various researchers and government officials have given basic income experiments a try, with mixed results.

World Day For Social Justice 2016 – Time To Share The Wealth

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By Staff of STWR – Every year since 2009, the United Nations has highlighted February 20th as the World Day for Social Justice in a bid to underscore the glaring inequalities that increasingly characterise the world today – from growing levels of poverty and rising unemployment rates, to various forms of discrimination on the basis of class, race and gender. The pursuit of social justice has long been fundamental to the UN’s mandate to promote equitable development and human dignity for all, and the theme for this year’s social justice day is ‘A Just Transition…

Newsletter - Celebrate Black Power

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. This month is Black History Month, first celebrated as Black History Week in 1926 as a result of the efforts of African-American historian, Carter Godwin Woodson. Goodwin picked a week in February because both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas were born on February 12 and 14, even though he believed that people needed to be educated about the multitude of African Americans who have contributed to history, as change comes from the bottom up. In recent years black history is being made by multitudes of people. Under the umbrella of Black Lives Matter multiple organizations have been created across the country and tens of thousands of people have taken action. Black history is alive as history is being created in our times. Let’s celebrate it together.

Great Potential Of Poor Americans

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By Paul Buchheit for Nation of Change – The homeless are feared by the upper classes, and they’re often arrested for nonexistent or non-violent infractions, in good part because they are simply considered “offensive” to people of means. They usually have personal problems that society has failed to address. A study of nearly 50,000 cases revealed that most deal with alcohol or drug abuse, and mental health issues. Legislating against impoverished people is expensive: shelters, emergency rooms, jail cells.